I am a man of my word, alas. When I made my preseason predictions, I promised to revisit my forecasts in January to see how well or how poorly I fared . . . and, well, you can just delete the phrase "how well or" from that thought.
We'll start with an overview of my conference championship predictions. Read 'em and weep:
I was right about a couple of things there. First of all, the A.C.C. is not a "superconference" . . . in fact, it is plainly the weakest of the six B.C.S. leagues. Secondly, the Atlantic Coast Conference did not field a single great team in 2006. Beyond that, though, I was 18 different kinds of wrong, as the league fielded few good teams, with Florida State being among the most mediocre of them.
Bingo. I nailed that one.
Here, I hedged heavily . . . and, wouldn't you know it, Ohio State was the only B.C.S. conference team to finish the regular season undefeated. Far from being "the shakiest of my conference championship picks," the Buckeyes turned out to be the strongest. I got the right result, but my underconfidence was misplaced.
Not only did the Longhorns fail to win their conference championship game, they failed even to appear in it. Instead, two teams Texas beat---Nebraska and Oklahoma---squared off in Kansas City as the thrice-beaten 'Horns watched on television. I just flat whiffed on that one.
As LD, a 2006 College Football Blogger Award nominee, would put it: "Cadillac." The Trojans once again captured the Pac-10 title (by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker), but several successive close scrapes at midseason, followed by road losses to Oregon State and U.C.L.A. in tight ballgames, gave hint that the gap between U.S.C. and the rest of the league has narrowed. Co-champion Cal missed out on the Rose Bowl by tripping up on the road in a narrow setback against a team the Golden Bears overlooked, so, yeah, I'd say the race was interesting.
Unfortunately, the Red and Black fell far short in their efforts to defend their S.E.C. title. Fortunately, Auburn did not capture the league title or even represent the Western Division in the Dome. Unfortunately, another set of Stalwarts in Orange and Blue (or, as I abbreviate that term, "S.O.B.s") captured the conference and national crowns.
I forecast the conference champions correctly for the Big East, Big Ten, and Pac-10, although I still sold Ohio State short, and I was wide of the mark on the remaining three power conferences, coming nowhere near anticipating Florida's, Oklahoma's, or Wake Forest's league title runs. In my defense, though, did anyone see the Demon Deacons' Orange Bowl bid coming?
Coming soon: Whether specific events I predicted (other than conference titles) ultimately came to pass.